The Global Search for Education: Teachers’ Top Tips for Designing Meaningful PD Programs

Jul 26, 2017 by


In a 21st century world where we are learning, unlearning and relearning all the time, how can teachers keep up?

The presence of technology in schools is increasing as are the opportunities to integrate tech into practice. However, the moment teachers master one new piece of tech, there may be something newer they need to learn.  Educators are living with the new tech challenges all over the world, so if they were calling the shots, how would they approach the development of meaningful professional development programs for their communities?

The Global Teacher Bloggers are pioneers and innovators in fields such as technology integration, mathematics coaching, special needs education, science instruction, and gender equity. They have founded schools, written curricula, and led classrooms in 16 different countries that stretch across every populated continent on earth. This month they weigh in on tech and teacher PD.

“As the world rapidly stampedes into the future,” writes Richard Wells (@EduWells), “there can be no waiting for the large-scale organizations, founded in the 19th and 20th centuries, to form committees to discuss how all might cope with the change. The only way one can adapt in this new world is to realize that we will not be served as a collective by institutionally planned programs, but are now served by joining networks as participating, collaborative individuals.”  Read More

Nadia Lopez (@TheLopezEffect) explains she’s learned “as an educational leader” that to “best develop teachers professionally, in our tech driven society,” one must be committed to many things including assessing which faculty members are “able and willing to learn” and what “makes sense for the instructional practices in your school.”  Read More

In Sierra Leone, “while technology may be one means of raising standards, it is unlikely to be the latest technologies that make the most difference,” writes Miriam Mason Sesay (@EducAidSL) who tries to ensure her teachers are “improving their subject knowledge as much as improving their pedagogical skills….”  Read More

Craig Kemp’s (@mrkempnz) 4 ways to improve teacher professional learning include encouraging social media use for anytime, anywhere learning, establishing a “coaching pedagogy” and making learning “fun and personalized.”  Read More

Joe Fatheree (@josephfatheree) writes that while he believes “districts have a moral and ethical responsibility to provide meaningful professional development,” it is “critical that teachers become vested partners in the process.” Joe notes that “his professional learning community is over 7 billion strong. Interested in joining?” Read More

“How can each teacher be given flexibility in HOW they learn while insuring that there is consistency in WHAT they learn?” Adam Steiner (@steineredtech) says it’s about “good LMS like itslearning that is providing “a menu of options in terms of learning activities while also offering a structure that insures that every participant gains the skills and concepts that are needed.” What are Adam’s top tips for districts “implementing a personalized learning experience for teachers?”  Read More

Shaelynn Fransworth’s (@shfarnsworth) “6 Keys to Planning and Delivering Effective Professional Learning” include “inquiry-based professional learning,” “openers vs. ice-breakers,” and “starting with the why!”  Read More

“As adult learners, teachers find satisfaction and purpose if what they are learning is relevant to their context,” writes Jim Tuscano (@jimtuscano). Jim’s six tips for “Designing Meaningful  Ed Tech Professional Learning” include “getting pre-workshop data from the teachers” and involving “the resident experts in the school.”  Read More

Warren Sparrow (@wsparrowsa) was head of ICT for his school in South Africa. “There is no overnight success,” he writes. “One of the most important things is that the professional development must happen all the time, not only on a Friday afternoon when there is an allocated timetabled slot for this to happen.”  Read More

Listen up educators! Because “It’s time for change!” writes Carl Hooker (@mrhooker) who declares “10 demands for summer learning…failure to meet these demands will result in the wide-spread lack of professional growth and lack of improvement in pedagogical practice by your staff.”  Read More  

“A 2014 Gates Foundation study shows only 29% of teachers satisfied with current teacher PD.  Another 2015 study shows that only 30% of teachers improve substantially with PD. So, what we have doesn’t seem to be working?” asks Vicki Davis (@coolcatteacher). We “need to make sure that teachers have time to learn,” are committed to learning and have a major role in “determining how they’ll learn.”  Read More

If Pauline Hawkins (@PaulineDHawkins) were calling the shots, she would make sure “professional development was relevant and appropriate for the grade level and subject matter.” For professional development to truly improve teachers, they need experienced “master teachers,” and PD time “should include time to apply the new concept/skill/strategy to the classroom.”  Read More

If Maarit Rossi (@pathstomath) had the chance to influence ongoing professional development for teachers in her community, she would make sure that all courses were focused on “pedagogy first”! Among her recommendations: teachers should “set their own goals for professional development,” be trained in “co-operation with other schools,” and would not be allowed to do PD courses “after the school day when teachers have already done their work and may be tired.”  Read More

I am dreaming, writes Rashmi Kathuria (@rashkath), of the day “when a teacher gets a chance to connect, collaborate, discuss and share with teachers all across the globe.” While the Internet is a huge resource, there is “lack of awareness, lack of grit, lack of time/planning to make effective use of such a resource and opportunity.” She writes that we “need to empower teachers to own the responsibility of their self professional development.”  Read More

The Top Global Teacher Bloggers is a monthly series where educators across the globe offer experienced yet unique takes on today’s most important topics. CMRubinWorld utilizes the platform to propagate the voices of the most indispensable people of our learning institutions – teachers.


Top Row L to R: Adam Steiner, Shaelynn Fransworth, Pauline Hawkins, Kazuya Takahashi

2nd Row L to R: Elisa Guerra, Jasper Rijpma , C.M. Rubin, Carl Hooker, Warren Sparrow

3rd Row L to R: Nadia Lopez, Joe Fatheree, Craig Kemp, Rashmi Kathuria, Maarit Rossi

Bottom Row L to R: Jim Tuscano, Richard Wells, Abeer Qunaibi, Vicki Davis, Miriam Mason-Sesay



Join me and globally renowned thought leaders including Sir Michael Barber (UK), Dr. Michael Block (U.S.), Dr. Leon Botstein (U.S.), Professor Clay Christensen (U.S.), Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond (U.S.), Dr. MadhavChavan (India), Professor Michael Fullan (Canada), Professor Howard Gardner (U.S.), Professor Andy Hargreaves (U.S.), Professor Yvonne Hellman (The Netherlands), Professor Kristin Helstad (Norway), Jean Hendrickson (U.S.), Professor Rose Hipkins (New Zealand), Professor Cornelia Hoogland (Canada), Honourable Jeff Johnson (Canada), Mme. Chantal Kaufmann (Belgium), Dr. EijaKauppinen (Finland), State Secretary TapioKosunen (Finland), Professor Dominique Lafontaine (Belgium), Professor Hugh Lauder (UK), Lord Ken Macdonald (UK), Professor Geoff Masters (Australia), Professor Barry McGaw (Australia), Shiv Nadar (India), Professor R. Natarajan (India), Dr. Pak Tee Ng (Singapore), Dr. Denise Pope (US), Sridhar Rajagopalan (India), Dr. Diane Ravitch (U.S.), Richard Wilson Riley (U.S.), Sir Ken Robinson (UK), Professor Pasi Sahlberg (Finland), Professor Manabu Sato (Japan), Andreas Schleicher (PISA, OECD), Dr. Anthony Seldon (UK), Dr. David Shaffer (U.S.), Dr. Kirsten Sivesind (Norway), Chancellor Stephen Spahn (U.S.), Yves Theze (LyceeFrancais U.S.), Professor Charles Ungerleider (Canada), Professor Tony Wagner (U.S.), Sir David Watson (UK), Professor Dylan Wiliam (UK), Dr. Mark Wormald (UK), Professor Theo Wubbels (The Netherlands), Professor Michael Young (UK), and Professor Minxuan Zhang (China) as they explore the big picture education questions that all nations face today.

The Global Search for Education Community Page

C. M. Rubin is the author of two widely read online series for which she received a 2011 Upton Sinclair award, “The Global Search for Education” and “How Will We Read?” She is also the author of three bestselling books, including The Real Alice in Wonderland, is the publisher of CMRubinWorld, and is a Disruptor Foundation Fellow.

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